This paper reviews empirical evidence on the micro-level consequences of family planning programs in middle- and low-income countries. In doing so, it focuses on fertility outcomes (the number and timing of births), women’s health and socio-economic outcomes (mortality, human capital, and labor force participation), and children’s health and socio-economic outcomes throughout the life cycle. Although effect sizes are heterogeneous, long-term studies imply that in practice, family planning programs may only explain a modest share of fertility decline in real-world settings (explaining 4-20% of fertility decline among studies finding significant effects). Family planning programs may also have quantitatively modest - but practically meaningful - effects on the socio-economic welfare of individuals and families.
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